If you missed the first of the series of lessons from the Universe I wrote a few weeks ago, never fear. You can still catch up right here. Balance seems to be a recurring theme in my life lately, including within my freelance business, and it occurred to me that it could be another sweet little message from the Universe. A nudge to remind me how to best take care of myself and live my best life. It seems only right to include balance in part two of the Universe series. Without further ado, let’s talk about balance.
What Balance Really Is
In strictly defining the word ‘balance,’ we find its meaning is essentially “to maintain equilibrium.” And that, I think is probably the best, most concise explanation there is. And that is because balance looks different to everyone. For example, a common saying is “a balanced diet is key to a healthy life,” but what is a balanced diet to a person who eats based on the keto plan is going to look 100% different to a person who follows a plant-based lifestyle. Which one is ‘right?’ I don’t think that matters. What matters is that the individual has successfully defined balance for themselves, “to maintain equilibrium” on their own terms, and they use that balance to guide their decisions in how they want to live and who they want to be.
What Balance Can Look Like
When I am living in a balanced way, there are a few key things I notice are in very good standing:
When one or more of these components start to lag, I am alerted to do a mental check-in and see if something is ‘off’ in what I’ve been doing or the decisions I’ve been making.
I don’t know about you, but I benefit most from real-life examples when considering new concepts. Let’s use me as an example of an individual defining and working toward their own sense of balance.
Recently, I made the decision to take a break from meal prep. Really, it felt like the decision made itself, possibly with help from the Universe. *Gasp* I know, but hear me out. I readily acknowledge meal prep has gotten me far in learning exactly the foods and nutrients that nourish me best to maintain a healthy life. Not to mention the big-picture benefits I wrote about not long ago.
But on the flip side, I spent hours every weekend for around THREE straight YEARS preparing and cooking food and arranging my life around my availability outside the kitchen. With starting and running a freelance business this summer and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes along with that, the thought of adding meal prep to the pile reached a breaking point for me – mentally and emotionally. I just couldn’t bring myself to research/plan one more meal idea, draft one more ingredient/grocery list, or batch cook one more recipe without wanting to throw pans against the wall and run screaming from my house.
So, in order to restore equilibrium, instead of judging myself as lazy or entitled like I might have in the past, I changed things up. I discovered a healthy meal service in my city called Nourish Meals. They don’t pay me to talk about them or anything (although they DO ship nationwide, should you be interested – message me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a $10 discount code), I just decided to give them a try and ended up loving what they offer. The food comes already prepared, they deliver it to my door, and I just reheat it. It offers the same end result as meal prep- except I don’t gotta make it! I found out about them on Instagram, where I’ve spent more time lately to post content for my business. The Universe knew just where to deliver that suggestion.
And here I am: today is Sunday, and it is the first Sunday I can remember that I wasn’t thinking about all I needed to do as soon as I woke up. I wasn’t in or near the kitchen for the usual 3-4 hours. Instead, I got to sleep in. I put my healthy meal delivery in the fridge, and I got to ride the motorcycle with my husband and enjoy a delicious, leisurely brunch. Then we took the furkids for a nice long walk when we got back. I successfully restored balance so I could focus on the things that are important to me: my time and my family.
How We Can (Mostly) Achieve Balance
Although balance will look different for every individual, I think there are a few things we can generally put into action that will help us in achieving balance in our lives.
Live a more conscious life: be present doing what you’re doing, and being who you’re being. Limit any distractions from that as much as humanly possible.
Prioritize the important things: for me, the important things are giving my undivided attention to the people or fur-friends I am spending time with, moving my business forward, having alone time (#introvert) and being a decent human.
Make adjustments as needed: if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else. If something you tweaked only works for a while, change it back. There are no rules, only the question of ‘does this serve me today’?
The last item is my favorite because I still think of balance as more of a practice than a destination – I don’t think we ever just arrive at balance, like “ta-daaaa, I’m here!” It’s a constant work in progress. But I’m okay with that. More than okay. Life is awesome, and life is a constant work in progress.